Category Archives: Israel

The Next Generation of Israeli Believers!

The Lord is moving powerfully among young Israelis today in ways I never thought possible!

We are thanking God that young, native-born Israelis are now coming to faith in Jesus the Messiah! We are not only experiencing a “second generation” of Israelis coming to faith and serving the Lord—they are also sharing the Good News with their friends, army buddies, and families.

One of the great challenges Your Mission to the Jewish People faces today is how to help disciple this new generation of Israeli believers. We really need your help.

THE NEW GENERATION OF ISRAELI FOLLOWERS OF JESUS

My first trip to Israel as a believer was in 1976. I met a handful of Messianic Jews, and there were probably only a dozen Messianic congregations at the time. Most of the Israelis I met had become believers outside the Land. Many had actually come to the Lord during the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s, and moved back to Israel or immigrated under the Law of Return to be a witness in the Holy Land. By the mid-1990s, there were probably a few thousand Jewish believers in Israel. But now, based on our most current research, there might be as many as thirty thousand Israeli Jewish followers of Jesus.

This younger generation of Israeli believers is in need of deeper biblical studies and practical ministry training. They want to impact their families, cities, communities, and country. They want to pray with one another, collaborate with each other in evangelistic efforts, and be used as God’s instruments to unify the Church in Israel.

New ministries are also growing within Israel, such as crisis pregnancy centers, drug rehabilitation centers, and extensive ministries among the poor and elderly Holocaust survivors—most of whom are over the age of 80.

Younger Israelis are some of the most digitally connected in the world, and Chosen People Ministries is using online videos, websites, and social media to reach this generation. We are touching the lives of  thousands of Israelis through our Hebrew language Isaiah 53 Campaign. This campaign, focusing on the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, has been used of God to touch thousands of Jewish people throughout the world. This has been especially true in Israel.

We have sent 5,000-plus Isaiah 53 Explained books in Hebrew at the request of   Israelis—95 percent of whom are not yet believers in Jesus! More than a half million Israelis have watched the Hebrew language testimonies we helped develop with our partners at One for Israel Ministry. This success is why we have begun a number of ministries geared toward the younger generation. We are doing all we can to personally follow up with these contacts. We are continually thanking God that we are seeing Israelis coming to faith through various ministries to both young and old.

RAMAT GAN CENTER

Ramat Gan, an urban suburb east of Tel Aviv, is home to hundreds of thousands of unreached young Israeli families. We have established and staffed a new Center in this area, and we have already shared the gospel through our café, public lectures, Bible studies, a moms’ group, and more! The Lord is working powerfully, and through the generosity of friends and supporters, we have already been able to add a couple of Israeli believers to our staff this year.

The Center has also been used by other ministries in the greater Tel Aviv area for outreach to soldiers, discipleship Bible studies, and more! The ministry is growing and we are thrilled with what the Lord is doing. Again, younger Israelis are more open to the gospel today than I can remember, so the opportunities to proclaim the Good News are plentiful.

LIVING WATERS

This new generation of Israeli believers is more engaged with Israeli society and needs practical training in church leadership, evangelism, and discipleship strategies. This is why we have developed mentoring retreats called Living Waters, where we gather twenty-five to thirty of these young Israeli believers for a weekend of training and fellowship. The retreats take place once or sometimes twice a year.

Some of our Living Waters mentees sell medical and technology products, lead moms’ Bible studies, lead youth and soldiers ministries, and others work as software engineers. You name it! Each one is thoroughly engaged in their local congregations and usually responsible for a key area of ministry. They need the input we provide to encourage their hearts and to develop skills for their lives and ministries. Through the Living Waters mentoring retreats, we impart practical biblical teaching as well as hands-on life and ministry skills, while creating and strengthening relationships and helping these young believers build a lifetime of gospel partnerships. I know you would like to hear from some of the young leaders for yourself!

Ariel Z. works with youth in a Russian-speaking congregation:

“I currently serve in a local congregation and have found the subject of ‘burnout’ to be very relevant. It was encouraging to know that I was not the only one experiencing burnout at times, but that it has also been a concern for others. The seminar was very helpful to me as Dr. Polischuk addressed the subject not only from a psychological point of view but also from the Scriptures. I was already aware of some of the ways to avoid burnout, but many were also new to me, such as the importance of having a hobby!”

David S. is a business manager at a Bible college and works with youth in a Hebrew-speaking congregation:

“The topics of the seminar were very interesting and relevant to my life. As a married couple, we have been asked many questions during our conversations with singles and other couples, and we need the wisdom to know how to answer those questions. The lectures helped me to know how to advise on issues such as burnout or marriage problems. The lectures gave me a deep desire to offer support and encouragement to the body in Israel.”

YOUR PARTNERSHIP IN BUILDING GOD’S WORK IN ISRAEL

It is clear that the Lord is at work among Israelis and that the indigenous Church within Israel is changing dramatically. It is a joy to know that we are part of God’s plan to raise up a new generation of Israelis to proclaim the Good News within Israel and to disciple those who come to faith. This generation will make a difference in the very moral fiber and culture within Israel, since these young Israeli believers are no longer marginalized in the same way as their parents once were.

This is an important time in history for us to be fully engaged in shaping the lives and vision of these young leaders, who in time will become significant leaders within the Israeli Church. We not only have the privilege of training new leaders, but we also have an opportunity to be involved in having a direct impact on secular society for the Lord.

Your brother in the Messiah,

Mitch


1 The tractate of the Mishnah about Passover
2 Literally, washing or cleansing
3 Literally, To wash or bath
4 Leviticus 8:6, Leviticus 16:24-25
5 Craig S Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003), 906.
6 Ibid. 906–907.
7 Carson, D. A.. The Gospel According to John. (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991), p. 473.

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Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Dear friend,

Shalom and Happy New Year from Chosen People Ministries! We are praying that 2018 will be an amazing year of hope and promise! We are excited about reaching Jewish people with the Gospel in new ways in the new year!

We have developed some powerful new ministries in the United States and abroad—especially in Israel! We now have more than twenty workers in Israel and three centers (Jerusalem, greater Tel Aviv, and the Galilee). We are continuing with our children’s camping programs, a ministry among Holocaust survivors, outreach through our Isaiah 53 Hebrew-language campaign, and much more! Our center in Ramat Gan (a suburb of Tel Aviv) opened in 2017, and it is already a bustling hub of ministry activities designed to meet the spiritual needs of young professional Israelis and their families.

Also, I am proud to report that our work in the “other Holy Land,” Brooklyn, continues to grow. The five boroughs of New York City are home to more than two million Jewish people and have the highest concentration of Jewish people in the world outside of Israel. Five years ago, we did not have a presence in Brooklyn, but by God’s grace—and the support of our generous Chosen People Ministries extended family—we are now ministering in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn! Here is an encouraging comment from Robert W., our Brooklyn branch director:

Recently we met with Sarah,* a former Hasidic woman living in Brooklyn. She has walked by our Feinberg Messianic Center building countless times, often enraged by our presence, but, through friendship, the Lord began to soften her heart. We met with her, prayed with her, and rejoice to share that Sarah has prayed to receive Jesus as her Messiah!

Thank you for your faithfulness which makes the labor of the Gospel possible! We hope to see the seeds sown in 2017 bear fruit in the New Year.

A New Survey

In December, the United States again formally acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiated the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to the biblical and historic capital of the Holy Land. Israel’s neighbors and their supporters around the globe disagree with this pronouncement.  The violence within Israel has been limited, but unfortunately, an innocent Israeli young man lost his life in a knife attack. We need to keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6)!

This past summer, Chosen People Ministries, along with Joel C. Rosenberg, helped design and support a survey conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources called “Evangelical Attitudes Toward Israel.” The results were released in early December at a press conference held in Washington, D.C. The survey results were discussed by The Jerusalem Post, Jewish News Service, The Forward, The Times of Israel, CBN.com, Christianity Today, Religion News Service, and forty-plus news outlets.

We were happy to see that 69 percent of the respondents are positive towards Israel, though that number seems to be going down among younger Christians. When asked about the modern rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948 and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people to Israel, 80 percent of respondents said these events were fulfillments of Bible prophecy that show we are getting closer to the return of Jesus Christ, and 20 percent said these were simply interesting geopolitical events.

Sixty-six percent of evangelicals believe that Israel’s existence, security, and prosperity are things they should support. On the other hand, 23 percent of Bible-believing Christians said that the Palestinians should be allowed to create their own sovereign state, while 31 percent disagreed, and 46 percent were not sure! That is a massive amount of uncertainty for such a crucial question.

This uncertainty should be a signal to those who love the Lord to think through what the Bible says about the city of Jerusalem because knowing what the Bible says about Israel is so important at this moment. Israel needs the support of born-again Christians. My chief concern at the moment is for the future because younger Christians are undecided about their views on the modern State of Israel.

Your Mission to the Jewish People hopes to continue influencing the Church with great resources and communications intended to form a deeper love for Israel and the Jewish people among Christians.

What Makes Jerusalem So Special?

Do most Christians believe that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? Most of us do not think of these questions in our daily lives, but, in the coming months, I believe it will become more relevant for us as the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem begins.

We should love and support Jerusalem and the State of Israel. Why? Because God promised the land of Israel to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3). Again in Genesis 17:7-8, the Lord confirmed His promises to Abraham and his seed:

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

His promise would include Jerusalem, of course, which King David declared as the capital of Israel when he moved his throne to the city and brought the Ark of the Covenant back to the holy city! Chuck Swindoll, in his wonderful book about the life of King David, writes,

With his headquarters in Jerusalem, David finally had the limitless reign he had been promised as God’s anointed leader. He had great power and great blessing from God. (2 Samuel 5:6-12)

We also know that the greater son of David, Jesus the Messiah, will rule on the Davidic throne in Jerusalem when He returns and fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-7. In that day, the Messiah will reign as King in fulfillment of the promises God made to King David through Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 7:8-17).

We Should Love Jerusalem Because Jesus Loves Jerusalem

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He loved the city where the Temple of God stood (Luke 19:41)! He also showed compassion for Jerusalem, predicting that the Temple would be destroyed because His chosen people were rejecting Him and the Jewish people would suffer at the hands of the Romans (Matthew 23:37-39).

Jesus’ words unfolded exactly as He said they would. Two generations after His death, the Romans tore apart the Temple stone by stone, destroying the city and exiling the nation for two millennia (Luke 21:21-24). The next two thousand years were a grim time for Jewish people, as they were dispersed from their land and subject to the hatred and cruelty of Gentile host nations.

Today, many Jewish people pray for the Messiah to come and restore His throne in Jerusalem, ending the two thousand year exile and bringing about a reign of peace. Yet, most Jewish people do not yet realize that this very Messiah they pray for is Jesus! When the Jewish people as a whole (or at the time of His return) say, “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord,” Jesus will return (Matthew 23:39, Romans 11:25 ff.). What an exciting promise!

The events of the twentieth century, the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, and the regathering of (most of) the Jewish exiles from the four corners of the earth show us that this time is close at hand.

As 2018 unfolds, help us put Jerusalem and the promises the Lord made to the Jewish people at the forefront of our attention. Together we will look forward to the amazing things God will do this year through Your Mission to the Jewish People!

I am especially excited about our work in Israel, but also about our work in many countries where young Israelis travel after their army service. We are now reaching Israelis in New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, and New York City!

And remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you” (Psalm 122:6).

This peace can only come through the Prince of Peace, Jesus, who longs to live in the hearts of all who call upon His name!

In Him,

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

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Update from Jerusalem

Dear friend,

Shalom from Jerusalem! I am visiting our staff in Israel for a few weeks and it is exciting to see what God is doing in the Holy Land!

As you might know, we have a beautiful center in Jerusalem as well as a new facility we are renting in the greater Tel Aviv area. Our Israel team has grown to over 20 staff members and they are serving the Lord in many different ways: ministering to the poor and elderly Holocaust survivors, leading congregations, reaching out to families and young adults, conducting children’s camps, and a whole lot more.

We are also continuing our Isaiah 53 Hebrew campaign and expanding it to Russian Jews living in Israel. We now have our Isaiah 53 Explained evangelistic book available in Russian, as well as a Russian version of our Isaiah53.com website. Over the last year we have received book requests from more than 1,000 Hebrew-speaking Israelis who want to know more about the Lord, and we have been doing our best to follow up with them.

I expect that once the Russian campaign gets going in Israel, we will have many more Jewish people from the former Soviet Union show an interest in the Gospel. The Russian Jews have been very open to Jesus ever since the fall of the Soviet Union and we have found this to be true in the United States, Germany, and Israel where we have already planted a number of Russian-language Messianic congregations. Continue reading

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2017: A Critical Time for Bringing the Message of New Life to the Jewish People

It was an exciting panel discussion — the exploration of one of the great passages describing the end-time salvation of Israel and the Jewish people in the last days — and I had been asked to be part of it!

The Carl Henry Center for Theological Understanding on the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, hosted the conversation on Romans 11:25-29 … 

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

The following is part of my contribution to the discussion of this prophetic passage — which has much to say about our work together and Israel’s salvation:

The questions that emerge from our reading of Romans 11:25-29 are especially important for me. Their substance forms the very basis for my identity as a Messianic Jew and my expectations regarding the future of my relatives and extended Jewish family.

I would imagine that this was no different for the apostle Paul, for I believe that Romans 9-11 is the section of this great epistle where the apostle bares his heart and soul for his people—the nation of Israel.

In Romans 11:25-27, Paul is describing the end of an era in which the Jewish people are estranged from God because the Jewish leaders had rejected Jesus at His first coming.

However, based upon Paul’s argument in these three chapters, it is clear that God has not rejected the Jewish people at all (Romans 11:1) and has preserved a remnant within the nation (Romans 11:5), until the day when the remnant will actually become the nation. In this passage, the apostle Paul tells us that in the end God will save “all” Israel, which I would understand this as the entirety of the nation of Israel who are alive at that time.

This cataclysmic end-time event occurs after what the apostle Paul describes as the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. It is evident from this passage that prior to the salvation of national Israel and the end of days there will be a season where God is working among the Gentiles in a special way—grafting numerous wild olive branches into the olive tree as described in Romans 11:16-24.

Israel’s Hope for Salvation

This great event is more fully described in other passages of Scripture—especially in certain sections of the Old Testament. For example, Zechariah 12 seems to prophetically document the process by which the end-time remnant of ethnic Israel comes to know the Lord.

Dr. Charles Feinberg, in his commentary on Zechariah, writes the following about the context of this passage:

The actual events, world embracing in character, which are presented include the world confederacy against Jerusalem:  the conviction of Israel nationally by the Spirit of God; the presentation of Christ as their rejected Messiah; the National Day of Atonement; the cleansing of the hearts of the nation; the purging of the land from idolatry; the crucifixion of the Messiah, the time of Jacob’s trouble, the partial success of the nations invading Palestine (Israel) and besieging Jerusalem; the appearance of the Messiah for His people; their rescue and his coming with his saints; the changed and renovated Holy Land; the Feast of Tabernacles and more![1]

The events described are future to our day. The nations of the earth will surround the Jewish people. Jerusalem will be about to fall. But God will intervene and send His Son to save His chosen people.

Verse 10 is clearly the highlight of the prophecy. The prophet writes,

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).

In effect, Romans 11:25-26 is the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10. And if you add to this Romans 11:12 and 11:15, the picture of future redemption painted by Paul now takes on a greater shape and context.

Your Role in Reaching Jewish People for Jesus

Where do we stand today? In a practical sense, we should look back to Romans 11:11, where the apostle writes, “I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.”

I believe these are the marching orders for the Church with regard to Jewish evangelism.

Gentiles are called to make Jewish people jealous with the Gospel. This Gospel proclamation, through word and deed, to your Jewish friends and family will be God’s way to move us closer to the great day when all Israel will be saved.

You never know if the Jewish person you are talking to about the Lord might be one of those who are part of this end-time remnant of “all Israel.” And, of course, we hope to see our Jewish loved ones come to faith in Jesus now and enjoy the abundant life He brings.

So, what can you do today to make a difference in the lives of your Jewish friends?

  1. Pray for the salvation of your Jewish friends and loved ones.
  2. Ask God to give you an open door to speak to your friend or relative about Jesus.
  3. Share Chosen People Ministries resources with your Jewish friends. We have lots of tracts, brochures and books such as Isaiah 53 Explained you can give to your Jewish friends.
  4. Invite them to view our online resources by going to www.Isaiah53.com or to hear dozens of testimonies of Messianic Jews who have found the Lord as their Messiah at www.ifoundshalom.com.
  5. Invite your friend or relative to a Messianic congregation or Bible study. Check our website to see if there is one near you or call us at 212-223-2252 to find a place you can bring your Jewish friend to hear about the Lord.

May this year be a year of great blessing for you and your family as we take one step further towards the return of our blessed Messiah and Savior Jesus!
Yours in Messiah,

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President

 


[1] Feinberg, Charles, The Prophecies of the Prophet Zechariah, Chicago, Ill:  Moody Press pg. 219

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Holocaust survivors in Israel are hearing about Jesus

Holocaust survivors in Israel are a very special community of Jewish people who understand the meaning of deliverance in ways that you and I will never be able to comprehend.

This group of elderly Jewish people is about 200,000 strong — and by one means or another these brave souls made their way to Israel over the last 68 years. Many of them immigrated to the Holy Land during the last two decades from various parts of the former Soviet Union.

These Holocaust survivors are now passing away at the rate of about 30,000 per year, and we cannot wait one more moment to present the Good News of eternal deliverance to these precious people.

Your Mission to the Jewish People, Chosen People Ministries, lovingly serves this community of Holocaust survivors in Israel in a variety of ways.

  1. We help them with practical concerns: food, clothing, repairing and cleaning their apartments, and much more.
  2. We spend time with them—taking them on trips so they can get out of the house, helping them celebrate the Jewish holidays, including Hanukkah, of course!
  3. Most of all we try to counter their loneliness by investing our time to sit by their side, to listen to them reminisce, and enjoy wonderful moments of conversation about the deeper matters of life.

Of course, in the midst of developing these wonderful relationships, the conversations naturally lead to discussions about God, everlasting life, and ultimate deliverance.

Incredible Stories of Deliverance

I have had many conversations over the years with Holocaust survivors about the ways in which God delivered them from certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

Some fled just moments before they were going to be taken away and sent to a concentration camp and, still today, they cannot figure out how their timing was so perfect. Others were about to be shot, and guards were distracted and somehow they ran into the woods and were saved by Gentile families who took them in and hid them from the Nazis.

As I have listened to story after story—it is so clear to me and to the survivors, that God reached down from heaven and saved them from death. Naturally, recognizing this leads to the question, “Why do you believe God saved you?”

It took several years of investment in their lives before the doors were open to having deeper spiritual conversations and before some of these precious Holocaust survivors began giving their lives to the Lord—but it is happening.

Chosen People Ministries’ staff have prayed with over a dozen Holocaust survivors to receive Jesus as their Savior in the land of Israel! It is impossible not to be moved by the stories of these Holocaust survivors!

Holocaust Survivors Are Seeking the Lord

Many of these special people are in process—raised as atheists in Eastern Europe, now in Israel, they are ready to begin seeking and talking about faith and what their future holds!

During this wonderful season of the year—all I can really think about is deliverance, redemption and the joy that comes from knowing the One whom to know is life eternal (John 17:3).

He is our joy, our hope, our comfort, our message and reason for the delight we take in celebrating this season of the year!

So let me say to you, personally: Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and thank you so much for your prayers and support and for being a part of our Chosen People Ministries family!

Without you, we could not be used by God to touch the lives of Holocaust survivors, religious Jewish people in Brooklyn and Jerusalem, and the secular Jewish people in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, and all across the globe.

On behalf of the Chosen People Ministries staff, I want to thank you for standing with us in the great work of reaching His chosen people for the Messiah throughout 2016.

We believe the best is yet to come, as Jewish people are becoming more open to the Lord and as we draw closer to that great day when the Jewish people as a nation will turn to the Messiah and embrace Him as Lord.

As the Jewish apostle writes,

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.

(Romans 11:25-27)

Yours in Messiah,

glaser-m-full-300x65

 

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

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Israel and the United States: A New Relationship?

Like you, my mind and prayers have been focused on the election this year.

Now the election is over, but our prayers must not stop. As America begins to heal and move forward, please continue praying for our nation and leaders.

There are two specific prayer requests I invite you to pray with me about:

  • Pray that the Lord will lead our new president to be a Psalm 1 type of person.
  • Pray for our new leaders to treat the nation of Israel with generosity and kindness, that Israel will be regarded as an ally and friend of America.

Both of these prayer requests are vitally important for our nation’s sake. Remember the words God spoke to our forefather Abraham:

“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

This promise is as true today as when God made it to Abraham — which is why you and I must pray that our new president will follow after God’s heart and bless Israel by standing with the Jewish people.

At the same time, the rising tide of antisemitism around the world presents a critical opportunity for Christians to show their love — the love of the Messiah — to the Jewish people. In the midst of attacks and hostility, your love can be a powerful testimony of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus the Messiah.

And now more than ever, the Jewish people are responding to the loving and hopeful message of the Gospel … on the Internet!

Simply by posting ads on Facebook or other online sites, you and I are able to engage Jewish people around the world with the message of Jesus — often offering Isaiah 53 Explained or other written material for more information.

By God’s grace we have been digitally discovered by more than 10,000 Jewish seekers who have ordered an Isaiah 53 Explained book or some other type of Gospel material from our websites!

The Internet is just the starting point for an ongoing conversation. One of our team members or partners always follows up personally with a phone call or email …

Amazingly, the Jewish people are responding and asking questions about Jesus!

Gabriel, one of our young staff workers in the Tel Aviv area, recently shared with me about one of his follow-up efforts with an Israeli student named Lior* who discovered Isaiah 53 Explained online…

“Lior got in touch with me to let me know that she received the book and started reading it. She felt that the book was too evangelistic and was surprised that there was not a big warning label on the book of its ‘missionary’ purpose.

“So I asked her why she ordered the book in the first place. It turned out Lior’s professor commented that the entire Old Testament is important, but Isaiah 53 is forbidden by the rabbis to be read by Jewish people.

“That same day, Lior returned home, went onto her Facebook, and saw our advertisement, ‘Isaiah 53 — The chapter that will change your life!’ She ordered the book, shocked that — in fact — we are allowed to freely read this very important chapter of Scripture.

“Please pray for Lior as we are talking and looking into the role of Messiah according to God’s Word. It is exciting to share with Lior as she, in an honest and open way, wants to know more about Messiah and understand our need for forgiveness.”

Right now, we have had requests from more than 1,500 Israeli seekers to receive Isaiah 53 Explained in Hebrew — and this is happening in the United States, too!

Many years ago, I led my dear friend Boris, a Russian Jewish brother, to the Lord and discipled him. Now, Boris serves with Chosen People Ministries in Florida and recently wrote to me about Sam* …

“Sam was thrilled when he read the information he found on the Florida Isaiah 53 Facebook page. He shared with me that for the last ten years he has been very interested in Jesus, God, and the Bible. You can imagine my happiness …

“I spoke with Sam for a good hour and touched on many passages from the Scriptures, from Genesis through the books of the New Testament.

“Sam was very open and a bit argumentative— but at the end of the conversation, we agreed to meet together and talk more. I hope there will be a good friendship between the two of us and I will be able to witness to him about Yeshua!”

I could tell you story after story like these — of precious people who are discovering the Messiah through online ads, Isaiah53.com, and the faithful efforts of our missionaries.

Thank you for your prayer. I pray that the Lord will fill your heart with thanksgiving and joy!

Yours in Messiah,

Dr. Mitch Glaser

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A Christian Responds to the UNESCO Resolution on the Temple Mount

I asked my friend Dr. Randall Price to comment on the recent resolution by UNESCO which attempts to make a case for the Temple Mount having never been in Jewish hands.  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and this is why we have prepared a petition which I hope you will sign and pass along to others.  Please read Randall’s article as it provides some excellent basic information to counter resolution by UNESCO.

– Dr. Mitch Glaser


A Christian Responds to the UNESCO Resolution on the Temple Mount

Randall Price, Ph.D.

On October 12, a resolution was passed by the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), which comprises representatives from 58 states. While not explicitly denying Jewish or Christian claims to the Temple Mount, the wording of the document used exclusively the Muslim term for the site while criticizing Israel of violations and affirming its Palestinian accusers. However, the resolution did state the importance of Jerusalem’s Old City for the three monotheistic religions. Nevertheless, the perception was that UNESCO had sought to change history by denying the claims of other religions to the Temple Mount and a firestorm of protests ensued, resulting in another vote being cast on the resolution on October 26. This vote, however, was the same as the former vote, referring to the Temple Mount compound solely by its Muslim names, “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and defined it only as “a Muslim holy site of worship.” But there was one glaring omission from the previous document. It removed the statement mentioning the importance of Jerusalem for any religion but Islam!

For the Jewish People, the Temple Mount is the most sacred site in both ancient and modern times. The First Temple housing the Ark of the Covenant, was built by King Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. A Second Temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel after the return from exile in Babylon and enlarged and refurbished by Herod the Great. It was subsequently destroyed by the Roman Tenth Legion in A.D. 70. However, the site has remained the focal point of Jewish daily prayers ever since, with a hope of its rebuilding uniting the Jewish People in every age.

For Muslims, the site is known as Al-Haram al-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”), or more recently as simply Al-Aqsa (“the Far Mosque”). It is recognized as the place where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, though not, as popularly thought, the place where, according to Islamic tradition, Ibrahim intended to offer his son Ishmael. That place is agreed by Muslims as being in Mecca (Saudi Arabia).

Christendom has also universally recognized the site as essential to its faith.  Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein reminded Cardinal Parolin of this saying, the resolutions are “an assault on history and is deeply offensive to both Christianity and Judaism.”[1] In the New Testament, Christ was found in the Temple from His dedication as an infant to His final week teaching in its courts. Like every male Jew, He would have made several annual pilgrimages to the Temple, one of which is recorded for His 12th year. The adjacent Mt. of Olives was the place both of Christ’s arrest and ascension. In the Byzantine period, a church was erected on the Temple Mount, and later the Crusaders turned the Muslim Dome of the Rock into a church known as Templum Domini (“the Temple of the Lord”).

Since at the center of UNESCO are the words “Education” and “Science,” it would be fitting to bring some education on the history of the Temple Mount and from the science of the archaeology that evidences that history.

First, it should be understood that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have all historically recognized the site as that of the Jewish Temple(s). Judaism’s history is well-known, and archaeological excavations since 1967 from below the Temple Mount to a Sifting Project of remains from the Temple Mount have revealed countless evidence of the Jewish claim. Among these are inscriptions, such as the Soreg Inscription, that warned (in Greek) Gentiles lest they pass beyond the separation fence between the Court of the Gentiles (outside the Temple) and the Court of the Women (inside the Temple) and bring ritual defilement to the site and death to themselves. The best-preserved copy of this inscription, found just outside the Lion (St. Stephen’s) Gate in the 1800’s, is housed today in the Istanbul Museum in Turkey, an Islamic country. The museum description on the artifact states it came from “the Jerusalem Temple.” Josephus Favius, the first-century Jewish historian for the Romans, gave an account of these warning inscriptions as he did for another stone found in excavations at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. This stone, pushed down from the pinnacle of the wall when the Romans destroyed the Temple, bears an inscription that says “To the Place of Trumpeting.” This connects with Josephus statement of the practice of the Temple priests in blowing a trumpet from this high point to signal the beginning and ending of the Shabbat. And the discoveries continue. In recent weeks, the revelation of a First Temple period (7th century BC) Hebrew papyrus mentioning “Jerusalem” and an assemblage of floor tiles and Hebrew inscriptions from the Second Temple, further affirm that the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount is undeniable. The same may be said for Christianity since the New Testament unambiguously records a Jewish Temple and its history is tied into that of the late Second Temple period from which these evidences have come.

In Islam, according to unbiased researchers, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik originally had the Dome of the Rock built as a shrine for the Jews. Its octagonal structure in Byzantine Christian style was built in AD 691 by an architect named Yazid Ibn Salam, who was either Jewish or used Jewish assistants. They constructed the building around the Foundation Stone in the same manner as the Jewish Temple(s). In this early period, the Dome of the Rock also served as the site of Islamic worship services influenced by the Temple ceremonies such as ritual cleansing, offering incense, anointing the Foundation Stone with oil and enclosing it with curtains (as was done for the Holy of Holies).

As modern testimony to this lost history among Muslims, archaeologists recently discovered a 10th century Arabic inscription located above a mihrab-prayer niche inside an active mosque in the village of Nuba, located seven miles north-west of Hebron.[2] It confirms that the original name of the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhrah), was Beit al Maqdis (Arabic بيت المقدس ) = Hebrew Beit Hamikdash (the [Jewish] Temple, during the early Muslim era.[3] Research of the inscription’s provenance reveals that the Jewish tradition concerning the sanctity of the Temple Mount influenced Muslim perceptions leading them to adopt and re-label Jerusalem as a city holy to Muslims. Asaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven who conducted the research found numerous 8th century Arabic documents and inscriptions, some from the founding of the Islamic faith, naming the Dome of the rock “Solomon’s Temple” Islamic coins of that period coming from the Temple Mount and other parts of Jerusalem contain the image of the Jewish Temple’s seven-branched Menorah. There seems to have been no dispute within Islam about these facts until after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the 1967 Six day War in which the area of East Jerusalem (containing the Temple Mount) returned to Israeli control. As an example we can read the statement of the Supreme Muslim Council in their publication of a Guide to the Al-Haram al-Sharif: “This site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the Temple of Solomon is beyond dispute.” This statement in the Guide remained the same from the 1930’s-1950’s. Today, however, the same Islamic Authority has its official position that there was never a Jewish Jerusalem and that the Temple(s) never existed.

So why would UNESCO cast their vote to sever millennia-old Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount and declare it to be exclusively an Islamic site? This is the era of narratives, on display in this election year where fact-checking can be as tiresome as it is unwanted by the masses. In the Middle East, it has never been about personal conviction of right or wrong (what facts say), but about how one is affected by what others perceive as right or wrong (what facts do). Therefore, it can be understood that this decision had nothing to do with the facts of history or the rights of religions, but with the political bias based on propaganda and pressure from the Palestinian Authority and the Muslim world. However, for those who are still concerned with the facts, the facts are that the Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and the Temple Mount the site of its Jewish Temple(s). No resolution passed by UNESCO or any other men can counter that decreed by the Almighty, as recorded in Psalm 132:13: “For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: ‘This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”’


[1] “Pope Francis: God Promised the Holy Land to the Jews” (October 27, 2016). Accessed at: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/77605/pope-francis-god-promised-holy-land-jews/?utm_source=Breaking+Israel+News&utm_campaign=2751e5b2fd-BIN_evening_10_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b6d3627f72-2751e5b2fd-86892777&mc_cid=2751e5b2fd&mc_eid=a0a5ab280a

[2] “Muslim 9th C inscription names Jerusalem as Solomon’s Temple site,” DEBKAfile October 28, 2016.

[3] David Israel, “Ancient Muslim Inscription Confirms Dome of the Rock’s Jewish Temple Origin

(October 28th, 2016) accessed at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ancient-muslim-inscription-confirms-dome-of-the-rocks-jewish-temple-origin/2016/10/28/

 

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